Wheels On Fire

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By Amanda Thomsen


I’m not as ahead of the curve as I used to be, so for many, the ideas below are not at all cutting edge. Although I have to say, many garden centers are a little behind the curve. Some garden centers are still working their way up to embrace the “website” and “social media.” And that’s okay—we all need goals, people. But to them, I may end up sounding like a Jetson with the below ideas. But hey, this is how the “kids” are doing it nowadays and when I say “kids” I mean the general, fun-loving public. So, put down your abacus and check out these four-wheeled ideas.

 
Pop-Up Shops: Go and buy an old camper/trailer and use it as an off-site shop at festivals, street fairs, flea markets, farmers’ markets and other charming events. A painted-up trailer can be quite the advertising piece! Spread the word about YOU and YOUR STUFF to crowds that have no idea where you are or what you do. My husband gifted me a 1949 trailer that is gorgeous (to me) but in rough shape. I planned to make that puppy a pop-up (I have no store but I wanted a pop-up; it makes little sense but that’s how I roll) and then we found that it would take about 50K in work, so I abandoned all hope. (Still looking for a good home for the old girl, if you know all about riveting …)
 
Anyways, imagine being able to handpick product to bring to events! Pre-planted herb containers for farmers’ markets, the newest chic annuals at a craft fair, mini gardening accoutrements for a street fair with tons of kids attending. Roll out an old carpet, set up your wares and set the sidewalk on fire with your on-trend look. Then you Instagram and tweet it like a complete cuckoo and hashtag it until your fingers bleed. You can easily use register apps (like Square, PayPal or Intuit) and a smartphone to keep track of sales or go old school and just write everything down.
 
Food Trucks: Having an event at your place? Give your customers the opportunity to grab a gourmet lunch without leaving your campus! OR host a food truck event if you have a lot of parking to offer. What I mean by that is, invite a ton of different trucks to park and sell food at your garden center, promote the heck out of it and watch local foodies stream in to try the food and most likely take home a bunch of plants, too. AND you and your employees get to easily grab a great lunch.
 
Many food trucks will come for free as long as they will meet a minimum in sales and, sure, that can be a gamble. A very delicious gamble. Food trucks bring their own power sources, water …  all you have to do is bring an empty stomach. I’ve attended some of these food truck events and have been impressed with the rabid following some food trucks already have. Now, these food trucks are COMPLETELY social media and website savvy (unlike some businesses I know, ahem) and will promote the heck out of anywhere they will be ON TOP of your promotion. Doesn’t this seem like a great way to get some fresh blood through the door? If gourmet cupcakes can’t do it … what can?
 
Amanda Thomsen is now a regular columnist in Green Profit magazine. You can find her funky, punky blog planted at www.KissMyAster.com and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @KissMyAster.
 
Reprinted from Green Profit | April 2015

DeWitt: The Truth About Landscape Fabric

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Do I really need to use a landscape fabric? This is a question you have undoubtedly been asked, or possibly even asked yourself at some point.

Unfortunately, there is a segment of customers that perceive all landscape fabrics as equal, and due to either their own bad experience, or someone they know telling them of a bad experience, they feel that using any landscape fabric is a bad idea.
 
The truth is landscape fabric is like many products – in most cases you get what you pay for. If you are going to spend several thousand dollars on a new landscape and/or hardscape installation, is saving a few dollars on the landscape fabric by purchasing the cheapest roll available really a wise decision? The landscape fabric will be among the least expensive items in most landscape installs. Going with a better grade fabric won’t in any great degree affect the budget, and will likely actually save you money in the long run with less callback, and in the worst-case scenario, a re-work of the job.
 
DeWitt Company carries a fabric for any project, but they pride themselves on their high-quality, commercial-duty products. DeWitt Pro5 is the heaviest weight landscape fabric on the market, and is their #1 seller. DeWitt Weed Barrier Pro is the highest quality pointbond fabric on the market, and is available in bulk 300’ rolls for contractors, and also 50’ and 100’ rolls for the retail customer.
 
TYPAR is well known throughout the industry to be “Tough on Weeds, Healthy for your Landscape”. TYPAR is the strongest fabric available in the landscape fabric market, and is a great choice for any hardscape application.
 
When it comes to fabrics, DeWitt has “Fabrics for Every Reason and a Product for Every Season.”
 
Order Now Using Program Number: D28E2

Japanese Beetles on the Attack!

outlook_r30b_headerBy now most of us should have applied our first application of Milky Spore Granular to kick-off spring. It was a long cold winter and, once the weather warmed up and the snow melted away, hungry grubs began feeding away at the tender roots of our lawns and shrubs. With the coming of June so too come the onslaught of adult Japanese Beetles and without proper care to knock them out our prized flowers and succulent shrubs and trees will be victims yet again.

To get ahead of the Japanese Beetle, the proven method is to kill them at the grub stage of the life cycle. Apply the second application of Granular Milky spore, making sure to water it in so the spores settle into the root system. Once the beetles lay their eggs during the summer months, young grubs will emerge and begin to feed upon a lawn. If left untreated the lawn can stress and die, leaving it full of dirt patches.
 
Milky spore works immediately, once a grub ingests the spore when feeding. Once ingested the bacteria begin to multiply inside the gut of the grub, causing it to turn a creamy milky color in appearance. It only takes one rod from one spore to infect a grub, but a grub is like a mini factory, producing billions of new spores. Once the grub dies, the spore is re-released back into the soil, ready to attack another grub. This process repeats itself each and every time and that is why milky spore lasts so long. In fact, St. Gabriel Organics guarantees the product to be working in the field for up to ten years. So what does this guarantee mean? If you apply milky spore to kill off the Japanese Beetle and after 7 years they are back, St. Gabriel Organics will replace the product at no cost.

If you applied the powder form of the product, no additional application is required. The powder form is applied using a teaspoon or a St. Gabriel Organics garden dust applicator. A level teaspoon amount is applied every four feet apart in a grid pattern. The inoculated colonies of milky spore will fill the areas in between the colonies by way of the grub. Remember the grubs are like factories – once they are infected they can produce more spore and when they die and decay will release new milky spore into the lawn.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: R30F1
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RESCUE! Products Save The Summer

outlook_r28_bannerSummer is here, the barbecues are fired up, and our backyards are in full bloom. The living is easy… except when you’re forced to deal with pesky bugs. To fully enjoy these carefree months, your yard and garden need a few good insect traps!

 
Want to rescue your roses and other ornamental plants from hungry beetles? The RESCUE!® Japanese & Oriental Beetle Trap is your season-long solution to not one, but two insect pests that damage plants and grasses. Place it 20-30 feet away from the plants you want to protect. The durable, two-layer bag is welded to the bright green panels, keeping it secure as it fills up with beetles. And if it fills up before the eight-week beetle season is over, you can simply use the slide-lock feature at the bottom to empty the beetles and reuse the trap.
 
From disposable to reusable to sticky traps, RESCUE!® offers many options for you to say farewell to annoying and filthy flies. The best-selling Disposable Fly Trap, Reusable Fly Trap, and the POP! Fly Trap use a food-based bait, irresistible to flies, that activates with water. For use indoors and closer to the house, the Fly Tape and TrapStik® for Flies lure the pesky insects to their sticky surfaces not with scent, but with colors and patterns that appeal to their compound eyes.
 
Yellowjackets are a frequent summer pest and a bane of the barbecue. With the RESCUE!® Disposable Yellowjacket Trap, you can banish them from your outdoor eating or activity areas, including your campground. As with our other traps, it’s simple to use – just add water and hang!
 
Wasps frequently build their dwellings – which look like open honeycombs – near human activity. These nests are often spotted under eaves, but they will also appear on a wooden swingset, under lawn furniture, in a mailbox and even in an outdoor electrical box. If wasp nests are where you need weaponry, RESCUE!® has a solution: The TrapStik® for Wasps. Hang it near a nest and watch it lure the wasps to the sticky surface with a color scheme and pattern the insects find visually appealing.
 
Proving that visual attraction is important for people as well as insects, the OrnamenTrap® enhances your outdoor enjoyment with the visual appeal of metallic copper plastic and a filigree design. Two OrnamenTrap® options – one for yellowjackets and one for flies – offer the same great performance as the Disposable Yellowjacket and Fly Traps, with a decorative element to beautify the landscape.
 
Fruit flies may be more of an indoor pest, but they hitch a ride on that wonderful summer produce brought in from outside. The newest RESCUE!® trap, the Fruit Fly Trap, uses both a feeding attractant and a red color proven attractive to fruit flies to start catching them within minutes of activation.
 
Coming in 2016, RESCUE!® will offer yet more ways to battle the bugs of summer with a line of all-natural repellent products. The GoClip™ offers wearable, on-the-go protection from either biting or stinging insects, with a mosquito/biting fly/tick version and a wasp/hornet/yellowjacket version. Pleasant-smelling essential oils protect the space around you from these insects for up to 6 days (based on 8 hours’ use per day).
 
The same all-natural repellency will be found in the DecoShield™, also new for 2016. Using essential oils, the DecoShield™ protects a 300-square-foot area from either mosquitoes/biting flies, or wasps/hornets/yellowjackets. The mosquito DecoShield™ version has a battery-operated LED to provide a warm glow at night.
 
Finally, RESCUE!® expands its trap offering to catch creepy-crawlies in the home with a new Spider Trap. Bringing a slim-profile design, copper metallic plastic, and innovative glue dot technology, even something as common as a sticky spider trap has gotten the RESCUE!® touch.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: R28E1

Regal Art & Gift: Signifying Quality, Service & Fresh Design

outlook_r27_bannerRegal Art & Gift is a wholesale distribution company that has signified quality, service, and fresh designs for over 20 years! They are committed to providing some of the most popular collections of home and garden décor for your store! Their top of the line products and hand-crafted designs have great attention to detail and fantastic prices.

 
Shop and discover their wide selection of decorative home and garden products, including beautiful metal bird statuary, a wide range of artistic solar lights, mesmerizing kinetic stakes, art glass birdbaths and feeders, colorful garden stakes, gorgeous fountains, and so much more.
 
Regal Art & Gift‘s new 2015 Supplement Catalog offers 88 NEW and exciting items in Angel, Fall, Winter, Halloween, and Holiday themes. Regal introduces the latest LED technology in lighted indoor décor in each Angel, Fall and Holiday category.
 
Regal Art & Gift also gives back! Regal holds a belief that with the blessing of prosperity comes a responsibility to “give back” a portion of one’s income, time, and energy to those in need. Since starting the business in 1992, the owners of the company have “tithed” regularly every month by giving 1/10th of their income to charitable causes. Not only do you receive wonderful product from Regal, but are also a large part of giving back to those in need!
 
Order Now Using Program Number: R27D1

Fight Pests Naturally With Organocide

outlook_o81b_bannerA pest infestation is one of the most disheartening issues a gardener can experience as they tend to their garden or greenhouse. After spending countless hours perfecting the beauty found in one’s home garden or greenhouse, the last thing a gardener wants is a pest infestation that puts the trees, plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables, or shrubs they have worked so hard cultivating at risk. Unfortunately plants grown outdoors as well as indoors are prone to infestations at any time of the year and gardeners should be ready at all times to battle unwanted attacks from pests.

 
A gardener can take many different approaches when it comes to dealing with pest infestations. Most gardeners choose to spray their plants, flowers, food crops, and shrubs with an insecticide. Insecticides are substances designed specifically to deter, destroy, or disable pest insects. Insecticides can either be synthetic (poisonous) or natural (non-poisonous) and found in liquid or granular form. As gardeners are becoming more environmentally conscious, more and more gardeners are choosing a natural approach to pest control. Fortunately there are natural options for combatting pest infestations that actually work and will leave any garden or greenhouse pest free. One of those products that actually works is ORGANOCIDE®  3 in 1 Garden Spray, manufactured by Organic Laboratories, Inc.
 
Organic Laboratories, Inc. is one of the country’s leading developers, producers and marketers of organic and earth-friendly pesticides and fertilizers. Organic Laboratories has been in business for over 19 years and their products are as diverse as the markets (lawn and garden, indoor gardening and agricultural) that they serve. Organic Laboratories was founded by an agronomist and all of the products they manufacture are developed and tested by the same agronomist, who is still on staff.
 
Organic Laboratories prides itself in providing cutting-edge and solutions-oriented products that are tried and true; products that are essential for creating long-lasting vitality, abundant yield, and overall healthy plant life.
 
ORGANOCIDE® 3-in-1 Garden Spray is an OMRI Listed insecticide, fungicide and miticide. It kills the eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults of over 25 small soft bodied insects and mites (including aphids, whiteflies, fungus gnats, etc.) and certain fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew.
 
• The dense oils suffocate insects by contact, so insects can’t develop a resistance.
• Leaves a micro-film on the plant which repels egg-laying females.
• Will not harm beneficial insects, such as bees, lady bugs or butterflies.
• Can be sprayed and harvested the same day.
• Use in organic gardening on vegetables, fruits, nuts, vine crops, herbs, ornamentals, greenhouse crops, turfgrass, landscape plants, bulbs, flowers, and field crops.
• People, planet and pet friendly!
 
Order Now Using Program Number: O81E2

AmericanHort: Exploring the Future of The Horticulture Industry

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Have You Heard About SHIFT?

 
SHIFT is exploring the changing demographics of our consumers, their expectations, and their mindsets. AND how this impacts the horticulture industry, specifically garden retailers. This pioneering initiative was once known as The Future of Garden Retail. Now, it’s not just about retail anymore – it’s about the future of our industry and how to rise to the challenge of meeting modern and future consumers’ expectations. This research demands of us a shift in our strategies, thinking, and paradigms. It forces us to think and to ask ourselves, “What if we started doing things differently?”
 
The Purpose
When we began asking ourselves “What IF…,” we knew that it demanded answers. These resulting answers are not just to satisfy our own curiosities, but are also a part of our responsibility as the industry’s voice, advocate, and thought-leader.
 
AmericanHort and the Horticulture Research Institute (HRI) have embarked on a multi-year research journey that includes discovering the industry’s true potential and its opportunities to capitalize on what consumers are telling us.
 
The field-research phase began in 2014 in conjunction with the MindMarket program at the world’s oldest design college, the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD). This research digs deep into our current business and retail models and how they can effectively evolve.
 
SHIFT is the only initiative of its kind for this industry. For over a year now, the research has been documented, deliberated, dissected, and put back together again in the form of insights and recommendations. Some are no-brainers, while others are a little tougher to swallow. But no one ever said change was easy.
 
The Process
By asking such an open-ended question as “What IF…?” it was important for us to proceed strategically, holistically, and boldly to cover every aspect and angle.
 
The approach to this research is known as design thinking, which identifies and investigates known and ambiguous aspects of a situation to discover hidden opportunities and open alternative paths for solutions. Sound complicated? How’s this:
 
Design thinking is solution-focused exploration. Instead of starting with the problem (the horticulture industry is struggling), it starts with the goal (attracting new and dedicated consumers, re-engaging the old, and taking the shopping experience to a whole new level; solidifying the value of plants and horticulture products and services to consumers and increasing revenues for the whole industry).
 
Design thinking focuses on what is happening, why it’s happening, and then explores simultaneous, holistic options that would achieve the described goal.
 
The Results
The writing on the wall says “Opportunity.” Potential. A chance for greatness. This initiative is happening because the industry provides and contributes to a higher quality of life for today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.
 
Over the next few months and year, you will be seeing the insights and recommendations of this research in several ways:
• Training pieces for you and your employees (brochures, pamphlets, cards)
• Webinars
• Educational sessions at different AmericanHort events
• Signage templates
• Social media strategies
• Articles
• And more…
 
There is significant content to work through and present to the industry. AmericanHort wants to make sure that they present the insights and recommendations to their fullest and clearest potential so that you can turn around and leverage them to your greatest advantage.
 
What’s Next
AmericanHort is setting the stage for these insights and recommendations to be presented to you, the industry, in their finest form. They’re putting together quick-fixes and long-term sustainable solutions. You will see these begin to roll out over the coming months and year, with the first reveal at Cultivate’15, July 11-14 in Columbus, Ohio.
 
SHIFT is the future of retail, the future of our supply chain, and the future of our industry. Get a sneak peek at Cultivate’15.